Pay It Forward: Stepping Up to Fight Cancer


Sometimes you have to drag a person outdoors from their office to give them a true surprise.  And that’s what we did: surprising Marie Rossmann, one of the guiding forces behind Jackson County’s annual “Relay for Life” in Maquoketa.

“I’m presenting you with 300-dollars to ‘Pay It Forward’,” said nominator Connie Bonne who wrote to us and suggested her friend receive the cash donation from News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union.

“You’ve done so much for some many people.

Connie Bonne has waited months to Pay It Forward to Marie Rossman.
Marie has been a driving force in Jackson County’s fight against cancer for almost 20-years.

“We love you and it’s time to Pay It Forward;” she says.

Marie’s mission starts with her mother Darlene.  She lost her to ovarian cancer 19 years ago.

Since then, her dad, Richard, has fought off prostate cancer twice.

In other words, like for many of us, the fight against cancer is personal.

“The things that we worked on in terms of research is just amazing,” says Marie.

She says the drugs that were experiment for her mother are now commonplace for cancer patients.

And it’s thanks to events like this: Relay for Life.

Friday night, people will gather in Maquoketa’s Jackson County Fairgrounds to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

It includes a survivor’s ceremony, a luminaria for those who have died, and a continuous walk around the track until two in the morning.

“I think the event on Friday night is so emotional and so exciting to see how much the survivors like our support”, says Marie.

But Marie knows she can’t fight the battle against cancer alone.

Her colleagues at Kaplan University help out with ongoing fundraising efforts.

“I very much appreciate you guys and all your support”, says Marie.

And now a little extra, 300-dollars from Bonnie to Marie to the American Cancer Society.  Paying it forward one step at a time.

“She’s just always there for everybody”, says Bonnie.

If you know of someone who goes the extra mile, click here and nominate them for the News 8/Ascentra Credit Union Pay It Forward award.